Westmont College has commissioned a new play that explores friendship and the laundry list of things to do as the end of the world nears. End to Avoid Damage, written by Diane Exavier, Westmont theatre arts department scholar-in-residence, will be performed in Porter Hall Black-Box Theatre at Westmont on Thursday, March 22, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 25, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. All performances are free and open to the public.
The play, directed by senior Karly Kuntz, features senior projects by actor Troy Chimuma and designer Leslie Duggin.
Chimuma, who plays Leroy, is desperately in search of his brother, whom he hasn’t seen in years, to rekindle their childhood relationship before the world comes to an end.
“It’s a work of art that shows the lives of people living in black culture and how the external circumstances of the play impact each character differently and how they cope,” Chimuma says. “I hope audiences leave feeling as though they were invited into a foreign world and didn’t feel alienated or distant, but felt one with the world.”
Exavier, a native of Haiti who lives in Brooklyn, New York, is a three-time recipient of the Roland Wood Fellowship for Theater Studies from Amherst College, where she completed her Bachelor of Arts in theater and dance. She recently received a Master of Fine Arts in writing for performance from Brown University. Chimuma was introduced to Exavier’s work when he was lighting director for one of her plays, Blame the Season at last year’s Westmont Fringe Festival.
“After the final performance, I was approached by John Blondell, theatre arts professor, about commissioning a play from Diane for my senior project,” Chimuma says.